Time To Pay Up: UWI Could Be in Trouble if Governments Don’t Pay Their Dues

UWI Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles delivered the warning.


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday April 28, 2017 – The failure of Caribbean governments to make their financial contributions to the University of the West Indies (UWI) could put the future of the regional institution in peril, Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles has warned.

And with more than US$100 million in payments long overdue, Sir Hilary sees a dire financial outlook ahead for the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, St Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago and the Mona Campus in Jamaica.

The UWI official delivered the grim prognosis, contained in a report prepared by a company contracted to analyze the financial health of the regional institution, yesterday at a regional news conference.

“They are saying that we are going to be in significant financial difficulty unless we are able to get an annual injection of US$75 million.

“That is where the rubber hits the road because at the moment the debt owing to this university by the Governments of the Caribbean is US$105 million,” Sir Hilary disclosed.

Noting that the report cautioned that the university was headed for trouble if it failed to collect the receivables, the UWI head expressed doubt that Governments would be in a position to deliver, based on developments from a recent meeting of the University Grants Committee with regional governments.

“Unfortunately all of our budgets were not discussed because not all governments were able to make commitments—an unfortunate development, that has never happened before,” he said.

The report advised the UWI to restructure its internal operations and generate more revenue and Sir Hilary stressed that it would have to engage new instruments to raise the required capital for next five-year developmental plan.

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